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Bophana, une tragédie cambodgienne (1996)


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Bophana, a Cambodian tragedy  »

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historical documentary about the Khmer Rouge regime.
16 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

The story is moving and, by using this character, you get an idea of the kind of dramas the Cambodians endured during the Khmer Rouge regime.

The director, Rithy Pahn, looks for this kind of confrontations with real people to recount the history. A good purpose and a good work. The promotional comparison of Bophana with Anne Franz is exaggerated and fall in the intention to commercialize the drama of history.

The letters of Bophana were found by the researches into the archives of infamous Khmer Rouge torture center, S-21, especially Elizabeth Becker, who wrote the book 'Bophana, a Cambodian Tragedy.' It was requested by Cambodian-French director, Rithy Panh, he himself a former child victim of the regime. Letters were addressed to Ly Sitha, the man to whom Bophana loved, but they were separated by the tragic events of the Khmer Rouge regime. Sitha eventually became a cadre, while Bophana was likely a slave in the rice pads. Their love letters became the reason to be accused of 'high betrayal', arrested and sent to the infamous torture center. They died in the place.

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